The title of this blog may seem like a pretty obvious statement, but according to my Facebook newsfeed, this is apparently not the case.
At the ripe
old young age of 25, I haven’t visited even half of the far of lands that I would like to. But what amazes me is, that because I have children people assume I will not be able to leave the country and visit these far off places until my children have flown the nest. I keep seeing old school and university friends posting memes that state “Everyone is having babies and I’m over here like which country am I going to next?”
There are several flaws with this ideology, I mean it isn’t like your passport gets confiscated the moment you give birth and so you are still allowed to leave British shores. So as a parent to a toddler and an ever growing bump, I thought I would shed some light on the subject of travelling with children.
1. They don’t confiscate your passport when you give birth
As previously mentioned, you get to keep your passport when you have children. That means you are allowed to leave British shores and travel to far off places.
2. They allow babies, toddlers, children and teenagers to have passports
That’s right, your children are allowed to have a passport and are also allowed to leave British shores.
3. Having children gives you some great travel partners.
Any parent will be able to tell you that children see the world differently to adults. Children see the world as a purer, more innocent place and as a parent that can help you see a place differently too. As a person who travelled somewhat before having children, I can also tell you that some travel partners you find along the way are somewhat undesirable, however when you travel with your family that isn’t an issue as you already have your perfect travelling companions.
4. You can still travel on a budget
Just like most families, we don’t have masses of money just lying around and so when we decide to take a trip we try to do so for as cheaply as possible. One of the best bits about cutting costs is that there is always a funny story to tell, for example when we took Oliver to Tenerife the hairdryer in our room nearly caught on fire. We quickly turned it off and went to inform hotel staff, watching Mr. C trying to explain to a hotel worker who only spoke Spanish about the situation was hilarious. His impression of an exploding hairdryer really was one to keep in the family photo albums.
5. Of course there are restrictions, but that isn’t always a bad thing
When travelling with children, there will always be restrictions. After all you wouldn’t want to go anywhere near areas or activities that put your children at risk and so some places will have to wait until they are all grown up. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you also look for other things to do with the children that you wouldn’t have even thought about before, whether that be a visit to a water park or a gentle hike through some ‘enchanted’ rainforest.
6. Travel doesn’t mean you have to go abroad
I absolutely love being British because the United Kingdom is just beautiful and it is steeped in such rich history and culture, after all millions of people travel here every year because of this. We have taken some lovely family trips around the UK since having Oliver, whether it be for a day, a weekend or a week, we have visited some beautiful places and have learnt so much about the country we call home.
7. Having children has made me even more motivated to see the world
Oliver has taught me an awful lot, he has taught me how to be a better person, how to love another human being more than I ever thought possible and he has also taught me how to be selfless. So I feel it is my obligation to show him and teach him as much as possible. I want to show him different places and cultures, so that he can understand more about the world around him. Although there is a lot you can read in books and watch on television, witnessing things first hand gives you a perspective you just can’t get from books and television. Things like the smells of a place or the feeling it gives you, those are things that cannot be found through reading a book or watching television.
8. Material things don’t make you happy, experiences do
In our family, we strongly believe that material things (although nice) don’t make you happy. Experiences however do. It has been shown that people who spend their money on experiences are happier because it is harder to compare experiences than it is to compare material objects. In a world that is becoming more and more commercialised and materialistic, it is important to both Mr. C and myself that our children do not fall into a rut of working 9 – 5 so they can afford to buy the latest ‘thing’, but instead strive to actually experience the world around them and actually live.
So while many people on my newsfeed have been sharing a picture on their social media of a person standing in front of a world map contemplating where they should visit next, we have actually been planning our next adventure. We are thinking either Croatia, Italy or perhaps going the whole hog and taking a road trip around Europe, because contrary to popular belief, having children doesn’t stop you travelling the world.